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    1. First In: An Insider's Account
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    2. One Soldier's Story : A Memoir
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    3. The New Concise History of the
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    4. Soldiers and Slaves : American
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    5. Behind the Lines: Powerful and
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    6. 109 East Palace : Robert Oppenheimer
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    8. The Peabody Sisters : Three Women
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    17. Military Innovation in the Interwar
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    20. Racing the Enemy : Stalin, Truman,

    1. First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan
    by Gary Schroen
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $15.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0891418725
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Presidio Press
    Sales Rank: 198
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
    One of the finest books I ever read. It is the thrilling tale of Gary Schroen's experience in Afghanistan. His thrilling accounts of his interactions with Afghani warlords, are simply incredible. ... Read more


    2. One Soldier's Story : A Memoir
    by Bob Dole
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060763418
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-12)
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Sales Rank: 420
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    "

    Before he became one of America's most respected statesmen, Bob Dole was an average citizen serving heroically for his country. The bravery he showed after suffering near-fatal injuries in the final days of World War II is the stuff of legend. Now, for the first time in his own words, Dole tells the moving story of his harrowing experience on and off the battlefield, and how it changed his life.

    Speaking here not as a politician but as a wounded G.I., Dole recounts his own odyssey of courage and sacrifice, and also honors the fighting spirit of the countless heroes with whom he served. Heartfelt and inspiring, One Soldier's Story is the World War II chronicle that America has been waiting for.

    " ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Here
    Given the favorable press coverage this book has gotten, I was expecting something really dramatic, personal and revealing in a human sort of way. But I found there's really not much here. What there is you can get by reading the book reviews, and save yourself some money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Soldier's Story & A memoir of a career in government.
    Dole's autobiography is very revealing and more educational than any government school.

    Bob Dole was born in Russell, Kansas, in 1923.He was elected as U.S. representative from Kansas in 1960 and served four terms. In 1968 he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Dole was Gerald Ford's running mate in Ford's unsuccessful presidential campaign (1976) and campaigned unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 and 1988. He has served as Senate majority leader (1985-87, 1995 to 1996) and minority leader (1987-95).In other words Dole was a career politician.

    It is clear from the book that being a career politician is probably related to the fact that two weeks before the end of WWII, Dole was severely wounded and remained disabled for life.

    He is not a gifted writer--his prose is often stilted, and he resorts too easily to cliches.That also sums up his political career.He gives no hints of understanding free market economics nor the need for cutting government.Dole shows why the Republican Party is a lost cause for liberty.

    People sometimes mistakenly say that Dole is "conservative" but that is misleading. Dole served in the Senate for 27 years and government did nothing but grow.Dole exemplifies what is known as the "greatest spending generation."

    Dole was the Republican candidate for president in 1996 against Bill Clinton.Given the choice between two big socialists, the voters went with the more charismatic Clinton. Even before Clinton, no republican president had ever cut the size and scope of government. Dole never got his chance to show that he could preside over massive socialism as president. Even so, his fellow republican-socialists are now twice as socialistic as Clinton was (in social spending alone).

    The only way that Dole can be called biased is that he drones on about socialists (Democrats and Republicans) and ignores anyone who wants to cut government (Libertarians).

    Bob Dole is stuck in silly left-right political analysis, as taught in government schools. He is still unaware of the Nolan chart or Diamond chart. He uses the word "liberal" unprofessionally to mean "left." His habit forgets the etymology of "liberal" for "liberty" (against government and for laissez-faire capitalism). That bad habit explains why republicans and democrats are the same: socialists.Bob Dole is an example of why government schools are unconstitutional and must end.

    Dole doesn't do well addressing the massive growth in government in the USA. It seems like Dole doesn't think that government in the USA is big enough yet.

    Dole is not libertarian and he uses the misnomer "public schools" to mean "government schools."No one would trust the government to tell the truth if it published books like Dole's. Why would the government tell the truth in government schools?

    Dole doesn't have a problem with "patriotism" and the pledge of allegiance. Big problem: Dole don't arise each morning to gather with neighbors and robotically chant, as he only "loves" the pledge when government's schools lead children in robotic chanting every morning for twelve years of their lives upon the ring of a bell, like Pavlov's lapdogs of the state. Did I mention that Dole is an example of why government schools are unconstitutional and have destroyed a "free press" and why government schools must end?

    Dole book suggests that he doesn't know that the pledge was written by a socialist (Francis Bellamy) in the USA and that the original salute was a straight-arm salute (as shown in web image searches for "original socialist salute"). Dole should know because he was born in 1923 and lived through the pledge's use of the Nazi-style salute (it changed in 1942). Dole doesn't know of the news-breaking discovery by the historian Rex Curry that the straight-arm salute of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis) came from the USA's pledge of allegiance and military salute, and not from ancient Rome.Dole seems unaware that Bellamy put flags in every school to promote a government takeover of education for widespread nationalization and socialism.

    Dole is an example of why some educated socialists (socialists who know the origin of the pledge) laugh at so-called "conservatives," because socialists presume that conservatives like Dole have been duped into supporting socialism and is ignorant of the pledge's socialist past.

    Francis Bellamy and his cousin and cohort Edward Bellamy were national socialists who idolized the military and wanted to nationalize the entire US economy, including all schools. It was a philosophy that led to the socialist Wholecaust (of which the Holocaust was a part) where millions were murdered (62 million by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 35 million by the Peoples' Republic of China, 21 million by the National Socialist German Workers' Party) in the worst slaughter in history. That is why the Bellamys are known as America's Nazis.All Holocaust Museums could expand four-fold with Wholecaust Museums.

    Bellamy believed that government schools with pledges and flags were needed to brainwash children to embrace nationalism, militarism, and socialism.

    Bellamy wanted the government to takeover everything and impose the military's "efficiency," as he said. It is the origin of the modern military-socialist complex.

    Bellamy wanted a flag over every school because he wanted to nationalize and militarize everything, including all schools, and eliminate all of the better alternatives. During Bellamy's time the government was taking over education.

    Bellamy wanted government schools to ape the military.Government schools were intended to create an "industrial army" (another Bellamy phrase, and the word "army" was not metaphorical) and to help nationalize everything else.

    Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated segregation by law and taught racism as official policy and did so even after the National Socialists were defeated, and well beyond.

    Thereafter, the government's segregation legacy caused more police-state racism of forced busing that destroyed communities and neighborhoods and deepened hostilities.

    Because of the Bellamy way of thinking, government-schools spread and they mandated the Nazi-style salute by law, flags in every classroom, and daily robotic chanting of the pledge of allegiance in military formation like Pavlov's lapdogs of the state.

    The bizarre practices served as an example for three decades before they were adopted by the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

    When Jesse Owens competed in the 1936 Olympics in Germany, his neighbors attended segregated government schools where they saluted the flag with the Nazi salute.

    As under Nazism, children in the USA (including Jehovah's Witnesses and blacks and the Jewish and others) attended government schools where segregation was imposed by law, where racism was taught as official policy, and where they were required by law to perform the Nazi salute and robotically chant a pledge to a flag. If they refused, then they were persecuted and expelled from government schools and had to use the many better alternatives. There were also acts of physical violence.

    The hypnotic "Sieg Heil" salute to a flag symbol mesmerized Americans long before it brainwashed Germans.

    Jehovah's Witnesses were among the first people to publicly fight the government and its pledge ritual in the USA, during the same time that they fought it in Nazi Germany.They eventually achieved total victory over Nazi socialism.They achieved only partial victory over similar socialism in the USA.The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that they could not be forced to perform the pledge.Laws still make teachers lead children in robotic chants of the socialist's pledge daily, on cue from the government. Jehovah's Witnesses and other children in government schools must watch the ritual performed by others.

    The pledge gesture was altered and explicit school segregation by government ended. The Government's schools still exist, the federal flag brands government schools, and government's teachers must chant the pledge daily. Students are kept ignorant of the pledge's original salute and history.That is why the pledge still exists.

    The USA also continued its Nazi numbering (social security from 1935) and its robotic pledge, with no stopping.

    Today, the USA numbers babies, and government schools demand the numbers for enrollment, and the numbers track homes, workplaces, incomes, finances, and more, for life.School laws still tout the daily pledge, a bizarre ritual shunned by every other country.

    Dole has discussed plans for "reform" of social security that would invest social security taxes in private businesses. At the height of Nazi power, the USA's government deliberately stepped onto the same path with national numbering imposed in 1935 with the social security system.The federal government was growing massively and attempting to nationalize the economy in many ways.The US Supreme Court struck down much of the new legislation as unconstitutional until the craven FDR pressured the Court into the "switch in time that socialized nine."

    New social security reform ideas are so-called "privatization" plans that would nationalize all businesses, in addition to schools. It would impress the Bellamys.Dole does not have the ethics to discuss the other side of the issue (the proper side): ending government involvement in education, and ending the social security scam, its taxes and its Nazi numbering.If the antidisestablishmentarianism does not end, then the USA's police state will grow.

    Dole has another bad habit: overuse of the hackneyed word "Nazi" so much that it might cause one to wonder if he knows what the abbreviation abbreviates. Many people forget that "Nazi" means "National Socialist German Workers' Party," and one reason people forget is because the word "Nazi" is overused by politicians like Dole who rarely or never say the actual name of the horrid party.A good mnemonic device is that the sick socialist swastika represented two overlapping "S" letters for "socialism" under the National Socialist German Workers' Party.

    Overall, Dole's book was very revealing and educational and worth the time to review.Let's hope for a more enlightened sequel in the future.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story of a Different Time
    This book is noteworthy as it is a public figure who has written a book without bragging about himself or supporting his current positions or causes.Dole is a retired politician who in his year's of reflection decides to write about the most significant event of his life, his service in WWII, the subsequent life-threatening injury, growing up in middle-century America and the support he received to overcome this devastating injury.

    This is a simple book that could have been written by thousands of WWII vets.Unfortunately, they are not famous and Bob is so in many respects Dole is writing it for them.He writes this book with no ego and no political agenda.In fact, he writes of his relationships across party lines and as he discusses his involvement with the WWII War Memorial there are great discussions on his excellent relationship with Bill Clinton.

    Where this book is most fascinating is describing his struggles going to college and the mindset of Americans as Pearl Harbor is bombed.Then you see the thought process of these young men as they decide whether to enlist and what should they attempt to do in the armed services.Pre-battle training is covered extensively but mainly from the standpoint of relationships with family through the letters included.Unfortunately, Dole's time in battle was limited as he is wounded almost immediately.So whole the build-up of this battle is compelling, it ends quickly.Then the amazing tale of how he was rescued at great risk and somehow managed to survive is told in great detail.Most Americans know he was injured but how many know of the months he was laid up paralyzed?Or the life threatening infections he fought off with experimental drugs?

    This book is not for everyone.If you are looking for a war book, this isn't it.Political intrigue and partisan politics?Pass on this read.But to reflect family life in a simpler America and the struggles of the heroic WWII soldiers, this is an excellent book and well worth the read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Soldier's Story, Not the Politicians
    Note the title, this is a soldier's story. Bob Dole spent most of his life as a politician, but that's another story, another book. This is the story of Bob Dole's military career and the aftermath of being wounded in combat.

    This story is one of courage and the continual battle to regain what was lost on a mountain in Italy. Bob Dole is a member of what has been called the Greatest Generation. And regardless of what you might think of his politics, he is a great member of that generation.

    Also surprising is his humor that comes out in his writing. His is not the dour even sullen personality that came across in the election. His is more the Bob Dole being asked for ID in the American Express commercial.

    We are now engaged in a foreign war where young men are coming back horribly wounded. Here is a story of inspiration and hope for them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars NotDole the politician
    This is a book well worth reading.
    Let me say at the outset that I have issues with Dole the politician but this is about Dole the man.
    It is a very human book that tells the story of an average American, a good citizen, a soldier and a man having to deal with a crippling injury.
    It is an unflinching look at how an average life can becomeremarkable life and a story of human endurance and courage.
    Inspiring. ... Read more


    3. The New Concise History of the Crusades, Revised Edition
    by Thomas F. Madden
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0742538222
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-25)
    Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 2356
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    How have the crusades contributed to Islamist rage and terrorism today? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of modern jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance. Placing all the major crusades within their medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual environments, Madden explores the uniquely medieval world that led untold thousands to leave their homes, family, and friends to march in Christ's name to distant lands. From Palestine and Europe's farthest reaches, each crusade is recounted in clear, concise narrative. The author gives special attention as well to the crusades' effects on the Islamic world and the Christian Byzantine East. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Superior Introduction to a Fascinating Topic
    The author of this book is the most distinguished historian of the crusades in the U.S.I worried, though, that his erudition would make the book overly complex and unreadable.I shouldn't have worried!This book is a joy to read.Madden brings out the tension, excitement, and human drama of the crusades.Best of all, it is not the usual rehash of tired cliches, but instead the story is based on the best and most recent research.This is that rare book that appeals not only to professional historians, but also to interested general readers as well.If you want to know the truth about the crusades, grab this book!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Captivating reading....but also an apology for the Crusades
    Assuming that the documents on which the book is based are factual, it does contain a lot of interesting information, whose verification of course would take a lifetime of meticulous research and a great deal of financial resources. Not since the historical volumes of Will and Ariel Durant, which covered the Crusades, has there been a work that adds strong personal viewpoints regarding the Christian religion. The commentary of the Durants and that of author of this book are diametrically opposed regarding Christianity, but it definitely distracts readers who are extremely curious about the causes and historical context behind the Crusades. However, since the author has chosen to include opinions on the moral legitimacy of the Crusades, readers are justified in making critical analysis of these opinions.

    The atrocities of 9/11 are of course mentioned in the preface, and the author's bias against the Islamic faith is expressed early on. Indeed, in the second paragraph of the book the author makes it a point to remind the reader that unlike Christianity the Islamic faith had a notion of holy war before the Middle Ages. It took the Roman Emperor Constantine, in his conversion to Christianity in A.D. 312 to realize that Christians, who endured brutal persecution for two centuries, now had armies and power at their disposal. And, as the author points out, this caused St. Augustine in the fifth century to formulate criteria for a "just war." Such a war was not to be one waged for religious conversion or for destroying heresies. The Crusades and the Inquisition are two examples where his formulation was corrupted and abused, and this corruption and abuse has continued to this day. In the intervening centuries intense competition for carnage and horror took place between Islam and Christianity. It is hard to say who won this competition, given the level of brutality exhibited by each. The city of Jerusalem was one of the major sources of contention and "moral justification" for the Crusades, as is readily apparent when reading this book. Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem filled the coffers of those who ruled the city, but this enrichment still did not suppress its political instability. It is very troubling that one city could be responsible for so much violence, and this violence continues to this day.

    There are many interesting discussions in this book however, and due to its size the knowledge it contains can be rapidly assimilated. The reader learns for example of the "Children's Crusade," which arose, as can be expected, from the incessant preaching for the Crusades that occurred in northern France and various areas in Germany. Fortunately, and the author relieves quickly the readers anxiety, this Crusade was not made up of children, and not really a crusade in comparison to the rest. It was made up of a collection of "unknown" people, who no doubt really believed in the content of the preaching they listened to. The author describes their march to the Holy Land, which ended in tragedy, some of them being sold as slaves. Their efforts were nullified, no books have been written exclusively about them. Being mere footnotes in history, they did not qualify for the "great people of history," and no canonization or glorification was imputed to them.

    But one crusader stands out in the book as being more heroic and morally sound than the rest, and it is easy to question the author's objectivity in his description of this crusader, due to his academic affiliation. Indeed, the picture painted of St. Louis is one of extreme piety, generosity, and holiness. Being king of the most enriched country in Europe at the time gave him access to resources that enabled him to crusade for the liberation of Jerusalem. But despite the abundance of material wealth, St. Louis of course had to motivate people to follow him into battle. The author describes him as being very "inspiring" to the troops, and a "gifted leader." There is no reason to doubt this, as wars are not fought by one man, but with many who must control their fears and engage in activity that is not directly in their interests. Religion of course always helps in supplying this courage, which St. Louis was eager to supply. The individuals who accompanied St. Louis are of course not remembered; they were not canonized, and no American cities were named after them. But even though the author chose to characterize St. Louis as one who viewed the conquest of Jerusalem as the "greatest act of devotion to Christ," the fact remains that the Crusades he led were inhumane, immoral acts, having absolutely no ethical justification, and a complete waste of time and resources, just like the others. ... Read more


    4. Soldiers and Slaves : American POWs Trapped by the Nazis' Final Gamble
    by Roger Cohen
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 037541410X
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 2039
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Holocaust Did Happen to Our Boys Too!
    I had first heard of Berga and the 350 American GI's - Jewish - but in many cases not, who were herded by the Nazis into the Berga camp on a PBS special last year - and my reaction was shock, anger, but even admiration - NOT for the Nazis but for that gallant German-American Captain who not only defied the Gestapo by refusing to turn over his Jewish personnel but tried to escape several times.

    There have been stories - even other books written about Jewish-Americans, GIs but also in some cases civilians who were swept into the Third Reich by Hitler's advancing armies.This is the first history of how Americans faced firsthand the Holocaust by a mainstream publisher. While men like Erwin Rommel chose not to differentiate between Jews and Non-Jewish POWs; there were others, including those involved in the Bulge operation who chose to do so. The 350 prisoners at Berga were captured at the Bulge, where the Nazis were known to have committed atrocities en masse - the Malmedy Massacre against unarmed American POWs - and Belgian civilians nearby.

    While more fortunate than their compatriots butchered by the SS Monster Peiper at the Malmedy crossroads, at least 70 of the Americans - Jews and Non-Jews alike, perished from starvation, exposure - and execution - at the Berga camp. The Americans too, came face-to-face with the horror of Hitler's extermination program, as they were placed in close promixity to starved, slaved Russian and Polish Jews who were also at Berga.

    When the survivors were liberated they were told to keep silent, and worse, Berga ended up in the Soviet zone - and notwithstanding the Soviet's intense hatred of the Nazis - they chose NOT to expose what happened at Berga - after all, to the Russians they were only ZHIDS - and the Russkies too wanted the former Nazis on board with them to fight us in the Cold War. That is NO excuse however,for our government, especially in the face of Eisenhower's hatred of Nazism, to cover over the atrocities committed against AMERICAN GIs at Berga.

    Roger Cohen has given us a history that while is appalling - is one that needs wide-exposure, as our GREATEST GENERATION is dying out and anti-Semitism is again rearing its ugly head. The stories of the brave Captain aforementioned; and of the individual Americans who stood up to the bestality of Nazism deserves to be placed in every American school and library.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Soldiers and Slaves
    Soldiers and Slaves by Roger Cohen is the story of 350 Americans, captured during the Battle of the Bulge, who end up in a Nazi slave labor camp.A major portion of this group were Jewish.The prisoners were sent from a Stalag, where the Jewish prisoners were separated from their fellow POWs.How these men were treated at Berga was a travesty.What was a greater travesty however was how the Americans allowed those who perpetrated these heinous acts to get away with what, considering how they treated their prisoners, amounted to nothing more than a slap on the wrist.Cold war concerns got in the way of justice.The men who were able to survive the camp and the horrific death march after they were forced from the camp by their Nazi guards were heroes in every sense of the word.Those who are alive today still suffer both physically and emotionally as a result of their experiences.Recently, another book on the same subject was published.Although that book was good, this one is a much more interesting read and I recommend it to any WWII buff.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Little Know Incident in a Horrific War
    When the Germans attacked in what is now known as the Battle of the Bulge they captured more American soldiers than any other battle. Most of these captured solders were treated with at least some respect and with some consideration of the rules set forth by the Geneva Convention.

    During this time however, some 350 soldiers were specially selected by the Nazi's as being Jewish, some by the "H" (Hebrew) on their dog tags, some just by looking Jewish to the Germans. These unfortunate captives were sent to a camp at Berga and forced to work at digging tunnels that were to hold a synthetic fuel factory. More than 70 of then died. Those that still lived have the appearance we've come to expect from the German camps, rail thin starvation.

    This is a little known incident in a horrific war. It is perhaps made worse because of the disappearance of Berga into the Eastern zone, the Cold War that followed. Maybe it was forgotten simply because it was too small. That is not to say that any life isn't important, but with perhaps 50 million killed.... ... Read more


    5. Behind the Lines: Powerful and Revealing American and Foreign War Letters -- and One Man's Search to Find Them
    by Andrew Carroll
    list price: $30.00
    our price: $19.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743256166
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-10)
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 4022
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From the editor of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller War Letters comes an even more powerful, more revealing collection of letters by soldiers and civilians from both sides in every major war in our history -- all discovered during Andrew Carroll's extraordinary journey to thirty-five countries around the world. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The reality of war revealed
    Andy Carroll's last book - War Letters - showed what war is like by reprinting letters of American combatants who had ac-tually fought those wars.(I should confess that one of my letters about Vietnam was reprinted in that book.)

    Andy's new book - Behind The Lines - shows what war is like with reprints of letters from both combatants and non-combatants - civilian women and children.This book also in-cludes letters written by non-Americans as well as Americans.

    Andy limited the letters to those from the wars in which America was involved.Thsee wars range from the Revolutionary War (there's a great letter from a Hessian soldier [Hessians were German soldiers "leased" to Great Britain to fight as mer-cenaries] giving his impressions of America and the poor fighting ability of the rebels), the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam (there's a good letter from a soldier asking his parents to forgive him for having killed a man in combat), Kosovo and Gulf Wars I and II.

    While many letters deal with combat, other letters show the many faces of war.At times, war can be terrifying, funny, ab-surd, touching and hilarious.(You know you've been fighting too long when the same incident strikes you as both terrifying and hilarious.)

    One letter was a love letter written by a California woman to a Swiss national.In fact, the letter was complete fabrication.The Swiss national actually was a German spy traveling in Great Britain during WWII.The letter was created to make his cover seem more believable.

    One letter was from a brother who had enlisted in the Union army in the U.S. Civil War.He wrote to berate his brother for having enlisted in the Confederate army.

    One letter was from a German wife to her husband's company commander.She requested that her husband be given a leave "because of our sexual relationship."She wanted her husband to come home so they can have sex.The commander's sym-pathetic reply is included in the book.

    One letter writer came up with a list of "The Army's Ten Commandments," which should bring a smile to anyone who served in the Army.Commandment number four is, "Thou shall not laugh at second lieutenants."

    One writer came up with a letter filled with multiple choice op-tions.By checking various options, he could either proclaim his undying love or write about an upcom-ing/imminent/current/recent military offensive.

    Several letter writers tried to warn their families that they should prepare for a slight adjustment period when the men come home.One Vietnam writer warned, "If it should start raining, pay no attention to his joyous scream as he strips naked, grabs a bar of soap, and runs outdoors for a shower."(As a Vietnam veteran, I found that letter puzzling.Doesn't everybody shower that way?)

    The book is divided into several themes that illustrate the dif-ferent faces of war:friendship; combat; laughing though the tears; civilians caught in the crossfire; and the aftermath of war.

    As a Vietnam Infantry pointman and squad leader, I view a book about war differently from most people.Andy's book showed me a side of war I had never considered - its impact on non-combatants - who could neither run away (what any sane person does when people are trying to kill him) nor fight (if you're going to die anyway, why not die fighting?).

    The book also showed me what I already knew from my own experience:that war changes forever those touched by it.

    One Vietnam veteran was haunted by the fact that several of his comrades had died rescuing him after he was seriously wounded.So decades after the end of the Vietnam war, he left a letter at the Vietnam Memorial thanking those men for their sacrifice.That letter is included in the book.

    Don't buy this book if you are looking for stories about triumphant soldiers marching in victory parades in front of cheering, grateful crowds.That's not the side of war that Andy wanted to show.Instead, the book shows the side of war that doesn't make the 5:00 TV news.

    You will need to read this book in small doses because the emotional impact of the letters can be overwhelming.In Los Angeles I attended a reading of selected letters from the book.One of the speakers read a letter he had written as a Jewish teenager while riding in a sealed railway car on his way to a German concentration camp.The letter told his sister how much he loved her.He pushed the finished letter through a hole in the side of the railway car and hoped that a kind peasant would find and mail it to his sister.One did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars incredibly moving book
    This compilation is marvelously well-edited and includes an incredible variety of letters from soldiers and civilians from numerous wars.The author has put together a very nuanced, clear-eyed, resonant and moving collection and has written helpful, insightful descriptions throughout the book. This book would make a great gift. ... Read more


    6. 109 East Palace : Robert Oppenheimer and the Men and Women Who Followed Him to the Secret City of Los Alamos
    by Jennet Conant
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0743250079
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Sales Rank: 951731
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    7. Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry
    by John E. O'Neill, Jerome R. Corsi
    list price: $27.95
    our price: $27.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0895260174
    Catlog: Book (2004-08-15)
    Publisher: Regnery Publishing
    Sales Rank: 1541
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    Amazon.com

    Due to the timing of its publication, Unfit for Command could be dismissed as the sort of controversial, loaded book typical in a presidential election year: Either courageous and necessary, or untruthful and malicious, depending on one's political point of view. Filled with interviews of men who served in Vietnam at the same time as John Kerry, the book poses the following question: "Why do an overwhelming majority of those who commanded or served with John Kerry oppose him?" (Note that the issue of "service" has sparked investigation into its definition--in other words, just how close was the interaction between Kerry and those cited in the book during Kerry’s Vietnam tour of duty?)

    The charges leveled against Kerry in this book are severe and include filing false operating reports; lobbying for and receiving three Purple Hearts for minor wounds, two of which were self-inflicted; receiving a Silver Star under false pretenses; offering false confessions of bogus war crimes in both print and testimony; and recklessness in the field, including the burning of a village without cause or direct order. The book also claims that Kerry left Vietnam after serving just four months instead of the usual one year tour and that he returned home and accused his fellow soldiers of atrocities without offering any evidence, endangering POWs in the process.

    It is debatable whether the book will change any minds, or votes. Instead, readers will likely reach one of two conclusions: Either John Kerry grossly misrepresented his military service or the authors are spinning the interviews that they conducted for ulterior motives. There is a third option, however; readers will further investigate both sides of the debate, and by doing so, may reach conclusions independent of partisan extremes. --Brian Neff ... Read more

    8. The Peabody Sisters : Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism
    by Megan Marshall
    list price: $28.00
    our price: $18.48
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0395389925
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-13)
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
    Sales Rank: 794
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    Book Description

    Elizabeth, Mary, and Sophia Peabody were in many ways our American Brontes. The story of these remarkable sisters — and their central role in shaping the thinking of their day — has never before been fully told. Twenty years in the making, Megan Marshall's monumental biograpy brings the era of creative ferment known as American Romanticism to new life.
    Elizabeth, the oldest sister, was a mind-on-fire thinker. A powerful influence on the great writers of the era — Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau among them — she also published some of their earliest works. It was Elizabeth who prodded these newly minted Transcendentalists away from Emerson's individualism and toward a greater connection to others. Mary was a determined and passionate reformer who finally found her soul mate in the great educator Horace Mann. The frail Sophia was a painter who won the admiration of the preeminent society artists of the day. She married Nathaniel Hawthorne — but not before Hawthorne threw the delicate dynamics among the sisters into disarray.
    Marshall focuses on the moment when the Peabody sisters made their indelible mark on history. Her unprecedented research into these lives uncovered thousands of letters never read before as well as other previously unmined original sources. The Peabody Sisters casts new light on a legendary American era. Its publication is destined to become an event in American biography.
    ... Read more


    9. Night
    by Elie Wiesel, Stella Rodway, Francois Mauriac
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0553272535
    Catlog: Book (1982-04-01)
    Publisher: Bantam
    Sales Rank: 1663
    Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's wrenching attempt to find meaning in the horror of the Holocaust is technically a novel, but it's based so closely on his own experiences in Birkenau, Auschwitz, and Buchenwald that it's generally--and not inaccurately--read as an autobiography. Like Wiesel himself, the protagonist of Night is a scholarly, pious teenager racked with guilt at having survived the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God he once so fervently believed in have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life's essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel's lifelong project to bear witness for those who died. ... Read more

    Reviews (744)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lifechanging experience
    Night, by Elie Weisel, is a book different than any other I have read. Many opinions about history, and even life in some cases changed while reading Night. For a very long time I believed that Josef Stalin was the most evil man to live in the twentieth century. After reading Night I believe that Hitler and his relentless "fight" to exterminate Hebrews from the face of the planet is the most evil act of hate ever. Elie Weisel is a 12 year old boy living in the town of Sighet. Untouched by Nazis until about 1942, Elie begins his long tour of numerous concentration camps throughout Europe. This book is about the lengths a human will go through to survive. Night is about love, hope, determination, and the spirit of humanity to survive, forgive, and to inform us, the readers, that we must never forget the lives lost during the years of Nazi occupied Germany. We must never forget how 12 million people just like you and I were executed because of differences. Night is a book that should eventually be read by all high school students. I am still humbled by Night.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Non-Stop Reading for the Mind and Soul
    Reading Night by Elie Wiesel began as a simple two-day assignment for my freshman English class. At first glance, I expected this quick read to be simply one more trite account to the terrible atrocities committed during wwii Germany. But after getting only 15 pages into the storyline, I found myself immersed in the detail, precision, and striking ability with which Wiesel describes his own adolescent struggle. At the age of only 15, he was faced with the daunting task of realizing that not everyone is good deep down inside. As his family is herded from its town of Sighet into trains, and then unkonwingly into concentration camps, the universal good in man which young Eliezer had once believed was stripped from his soul. This emotional weekend read is capable of being devoured all in one sitting. However, while reading this book in our living rooms or at the beach, we must remember what our fellow men and women around the world have been through. As readers, we should take time to celebrate the courage and hope that men like Elie Wiesel have possessed. Without this strong passion for life our world would be so much different than it is today. The few hours we spend reading this book are special. But they are nothing compared to the days, months, and years that thousands of Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and slavs spent in concentration camps. If you have ever felt low or alone, read Night, and you will see just how lucky you are to be able to breathe, to eat, to love, to feel, to even be alive.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Horrifying Account of the Holocaust
    Night is the story of Elie Wiesel's experience in the German concentration camp Auschwitz during World War II. He calls it a "nightmare-" this is an understatement. One can wake up from a nightmare. The horror Wiesel lived had no outlet.

    A Jew from Transylvania, Wiesel grew up with a strong religious background. He found an unlikely teacher in a man named "Moshe the Beadle." Moshe taught his pupil that man could not understand God's answers to man's questions; man could only ask God the right questions. Would Elie's time in Auschwitz destroy his budding faith? The book explores faith in a searing way. A must read for all. Ages 16 and up.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Searching for Themes in Night
    Night is a story about a young boy's life during the Holocaust. He uses a different name in the story, Eliezer. He comes from a highly Orthodox Jewish family, and they observed the Jewish traditions. His father, Shlomo, a shopkeeper, was very involved with the Jewish community, which was confined to the Jewish section of town, called the shtetl.
    In 1944, the Jews of Hungary were relatively unaffected by the catastrophe that was destroying the Jewish communities of Europe in spite of the infamous Nuremberg Laws of 1935-designed to dehumanize German Jews and subject them to violence and prejudice. The Holocaust itself did not reach Hungary until 1944. In Wiesel's native Sighet, the disaster was even worse: of the 15,000 Jews in prewar Sighet, only about fifty families survived the Holocaust. In May of 1944, when Wiesel was fifteen, his family and many inhabitants of the Sighet shtetl were deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. The largest and deadliest of the camps, Auschwitz was the site of more than 1,300,000 Jewish deaths. Wiesel's father, mother, and little sister all died in the Holocaust. Wiesel himself survived and immigrated to France. His story is a horror story that comes to life when students in high school read this novel. Even though many students have not witnessed or participated in such horror, they relate to the character because Wiesel is their age. They cannot believe someone went through the nightmare he did at their age.

    This book focuses on many themes: conflict, silence, inhumanity to others, and father/son bonding. We see many, too many, conflicts this young man faces. Eliezer struggles with his faith throughout the story. He believes that God is everywhere, and he can't understand how God could let this happen, especially as Eliezer faces conflict everyday in the concentration camp. He also learns silence means. He says he says it is God's silence that he doesn't understand. He feels that God's silence demonstrates the absence of divine compassion. Another silence that drive confuses Eliezer is the silence of the victims. He cannot understand why they don't fight back, especially with the inhumanity that is forced upon them. It is because of this inhumanity that he loses faith, not only in God but also in men. He tells how at the beginning, the Germans were "distant but friendly." However, when they reach the camps, the soldiers are transformed from men to monsters. As part of this inhumanity and lack of faith is the instances when a son betrays his father. He sees this several times and can't comprehend how a son, in order to save his own life, betrays his father. Luckily for Eliezer's father, Eliezer's love and bond is stronger than self-preservation.
    How can students relate to this story when they haven't experienced anything near what Wiesel did. Maybe they haven't experienced these acts, but they have experienced conflict, silence, inhumanity, and bonding, and if a teacher focuses on these themes, the students will relate.
    Works Cited:
    Sparknotes.com. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/night/themes.html

    5-0 out of 5 stars Overpowering and Humbling....
    l am a Christian and was absolutely stunned by this book. To read -and more importantly to re-read and reflect - about the trials and tribulations of a devoted Jewish family as they went from a loving, religious/spiritual home to a ghetto, then to the railroad yards, then to a Concentration Camp...is to be transported to a nightmarish journey and world that must never be taken for granted, that must be understood deeply, and which must be respected with our hearts more than with our minds.

    To criticize any victim of the Holocaust for doubting or questioning their G-d is to live in a fantasy world. Unless one has lived through the horror and degradations of the Holocaust, he should be quiet. As for me, whenever l see or think of the child-victims and their parents of those terrible days, l think of me and my own children in their place...and it keeps me very humble. ... Read more


    10. John Brown, Abolitionist : The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights
    by DAVID S. REYNOLDS
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375411887
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-19)
    Publisher: Knopf
    Sales Rank: 1207
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good biography of Brown with important cultural issues
    When I was a child the name of John Brown was a grotesquerie.We sang about his body a moulderin' in the grave, but it was generally understood that he was some kind of crazy man who killed some people over slavery, had something to do with the Civil War, and we just shouldn't talk about it.And I am from Michigan rather than the South so this avoidance wasn't based on region.

    In the sixties I was about as removed in time from the Civil War as today's young people are from the First World War.That is, the people who were alive during the war were all but past and the children born to those who had lived through the war were now old.Still, some of the received knowledge of the war came from tradition of those who had life experience rather than from books and scholarship.However, with the Great War in our Grandparent's lives, the Second World War in our parent's lives and the echoes of Korea all around us and Vietnam getting under its bloody way, the Civil War just seemed too long ago to worry about in real life.

    I took extra time with this book because I wanted to wrestle with the idea of when a cause is important enough to justify personally initiated violence.In our present state of affairs, it is hard to conceive a wrong so great that righting it would involve action outside the political and judicial processes.At bottom, no matter how certain of the rightness and goodness of our cause, there is still some possibility that there is more to the issue than we understand and that those whom we would kill or murder might actually, in the cosmic view of things, not merit the death we would inflict on them.We have doubts enough with the state rendering a judgment of death, how much more would we doubt the rightness of a private judgment that concluded in the death of a human being.

    The author, David Reynolds, does a solid job in telling the story of John Brown.We see Brown as a human being within his time.We see his faith in God, his Puritan sense of destiny, and his fury at the injustice of slavery.As we follow him through his life we understand why he acted as he did and the enslavement and misery of four million souls makes his actions in Kansas and at Harpers Ferry make some sort of awful sense.The last two chapters make clear that this author agrees with W.E.B. DuBois that "Brown was right".Reynolds does take on the modern terrorism of the left and the right.He takes on abortion, the environment, the Islamofacists, and more.He argues that Brown was different and exceptional.He notes the power Brown's words and how his cause was taken on by so many leading into, during, and after the Civil War.

    Yet, in my own mind, if I grant that Brown is an exception I have to ask what was he exceptional with?And I note it was his eloquence in words.I still cannot help but disqualify his violence as just.His cause in freeing the slaves was certainly just, but if we allow his violence under what premise do we make that allowance?Abortion has taken millions of lives, environmentalism claims they are saving the whole planet, animal rights claims they are sparing billions of animals, and on and on the fever goes until it reaches into insanity.Whose conscience do we grant the privileged position of spilling everyone's blood?

    Brown had the passion, conscience, and eloquence that he could have used to make a powerful case against slavery as he did after his trial.He would have had, I believe, and even greater impact against slavery with his preaching than with his sword.Remember, every other country in the world abandoned slavery without the violence of our Civil War.And even if we grant that the War freed the slaves in 1865 while a nonviolent approach would have taken decades longer, we also have to admit it was another century of work and too often bloodshed before the descendants of those slaves got close to the civil rights promised them.And don't forget that the man who did the most to move society to accepting those rights was Martin Luther King who preached nonviolence.Thurgood Marshall won Brown v. Board of Education without guns as well.

    Yes, there is more to do.Certainly, there is cruelty and injustice almost more than we can bear in the world.But bear it we must as we work towards a better world.Our methods in that work do matter and we must not become deluded that our personal sense of righteousness actually grants us a special position from which we can deal injustice in the name of a higher cause.

    This is a thoughtful book and deserves to be read.You will gain a lot from it and wrestling with these awful events will help you clarify what exactly it is you do believe.

    1-0 out of 5 stars There are better biographies of John Brown
    Don't waste your time on this book. Find and read Otto Scott's "John Brown and the Secret Six" which has plenty of evidence of the terrorist roots of John Brown and his band.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Marvellous
    Ideal for those of you who want to find out about John Brown, Abolitionist : The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Christian Right Wing Terrorist
    I'm not so sure that I agree with Dr. Reynolds subtitle.

    John Brown didn't exactly end slavery. That took a little over two million men; 359,528 of whom died.

    Did he spark the Civil War? Certainly he was one spark. Dr. Reynolds writes that the Civil War might have been delayed, except for John Brown's murderous raids and the seizure of the federal armory at Harpers Ferry. If it had been delayed, might it not have happened?

    Seeding Civil Rights, OK! But if so, the growth and maturity of the Civil Rights movement took another hundred years and the actions of a lot of people.

    From this you can guess the tone of the book. Dr. Reynolds presents Brown as a Puritan pioneer rather than a crazed fanatic. I wonder if he would present Timothy McVeigh and the Christian Right prople who blow up women's clinics in the same way.

    You can certainly say that Dr. Reynolds presents a strong viewpoint almost praising John Brown, yet at the same time he does point out that the actions of John Brown would today mark him as a terrorist. ... Read more


    11. Forgotten Armies : The Fall of British Asia, 1941-1945,
    by Christopher Bayly, Tim Harper
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $20.37
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 067401748X
    Catlog: Book (2005-03-31)
    Publisher: Belknap Press
    Sales Rank: 6824
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In the early stages of the Second World War, the vast crescent of British-ruled territories stretching from India to Singapore appeared as a massive Allied asset. It provided scores of soldiers and great quantities of raw materials and helped present a seemingly impregnable global defense against the Axis. Yet, within a few weeks in 1941-42, a Japanese invasion had destroyed all this, sweeping suddenly and decisively through south and southeast Asia to the Indian frontier, and provoking the extraordinary revolutionary struggles which would mark the beginning of the end of British dominion in the East and the rise of today's Asian world.

    More than a military history, this gripping account of groundbreaking battles and guerrilla campaigns creates a panoramic view of British Asia as it was ravaged by warfare, nationalist insurgency, disease, and famine. It breathes life into the armies of soldiers, civilians, laborers, businessmen, comfort women, doctors, and nurses who confronted the daily brutalities of a combat zone which extended from metropolitan cities to remote jungles, from tropical plantations to the Himalayas. Drawing upon a vast range of Indian, Burmese, Chinese, and Malay as well as British, American, and Japanese voices, the authors make vivid one of the central dramas of the twentieth century: the birth of modern south and southeast Asia and the death of British rule.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful study of the war in British Asia
    Few events in the twentieth century did as much to shape the world in which we live than the fall of the British Empire.Every corner of the globe bears some stamp of its once-mighty presence, yet only now are we beginning to understand its true impact and legacy.In this book, Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper focus on British rule in southern Asia -India, Burma, Malaya, and Singapore - during the Second World War, showing not just how that conflict accelerated the collapse of their empire in the region but how it set the parameters of the subsequent course it took in history.

    The authors chart this progress from events immediately prior to the Japanese invasions of 1941-2, depicting a region at the crossroads of change.On the surface, British rule continued in the routines of rule that had existed for decades, with colonists engaged in their intricate social rituals at the top of a racially stratified society.Yet beneath these placid assumptions, a growing nationalism was beginning to erode the sureties of the British presence.Bayly and Harper's coverage of these groups is one of the many strengths of the book, as they describe the numerous racial groups and the complicated politics of their interactions with impressive breadth and confidence.

    Japan sought to exploit this nationalist sentiment by posturing as liberators seeking to create an "Asia for the Asians."Yet the success of their conquest was due more to British weakness than the success of any Japanese appeal.Stunned by the rapidity of the Japanese advance, British forces collapsed in a matter of weeks, irreparably damaging the imperial prestige upon which much of their rule rested.Racial attitudes only exacerbated tensions, as white colonials often "pulled rank" in their eagerness to escape the Japanese onslaught.The memory of this would color relations in the region for years after the war.

    Though the Japanese advanced as far as northern Burma, overstretched supply lines and the annual monsoons brought an end to their offensive in the region.Yet with their forces shattered and their resources strained, initially the British could do little to dislodge them.Here the authors turn their attention to the suffering brought about by war, particularly a devastating famine in India, the result of wartime disruption, a devastating cyclone, and British misgovernment.With tensions high and many leaders of the Indian National Congress in prison, the Japanese tried to take advantage of the situation by sponsoring an Indian independence movement under the leadership of Subhas Chandra Bose.Yet this, like their efforts in Burma and Malaya, soon fell victim to the brutality and abuse of Japanese rule, which alienated the native populations and fueled resistance throughout the region.

    With the failure of their U-Go offensive in the spring of 1944, the end of Japanese rule was increasingly apparent to the peoples of the region.Yet even as the British prepared to reassert imperial rule, their former subjects were positioning themselves for independence.Here the authors illustrate both how much the experience of war had changed the region and how blind the British were to these changes.For all of the insincerity of Japanese motivations, the rhetoric of independence and the creation of local military forces had fanned nationalist hopes and accelerated what ultimately became an irreversible end to the British Empire in Asia.

    Bayly and Harper have provided an excellent history of the war in southeastern Asia and its role in decolonization.The breadth of their coverage is impressive, particularly in their examination of Asian perspectives towards both British and Japanese rule - something all too often absent in histories of the conflict.Though the narrative often suffers from stilted writing, the insightful analysis the authors offer more than compensates for the lack of polish in the prose.In fact, the abrupt termination of their account with the end of the fighting left me hoping for a follow-up volume that tracks these developments to their eventual conclusion - independence and the creation of a new Asia.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    This is a short overview of the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia and the fall of British colonial rule at the beginning of World War II. It is clear that the consequences of this war are still felt throughout the region today. The writing is excellent. ... Read more


    12. The Rivers of War
    by ERIC FLINT
    list price: $25.95
    our price: $17.13
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0345465679
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-17)
    Publisher: Del Rey
    Sales Rank: 2713
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent alternate history,... but not "1632"
    Excellent, like all of Eric Flint's books, but this one didn't grab my interest as quickly as the others. It's a fascinating idea for an alternate history, but the first chapters merely serve to introduce the characters (and the entire book seems to be an introduction to the REAL story, presumably to follow in succeeding volumes).

    Once you get into it, it's hard to put down. And, as usual, Eric Flint's characters are better people than real-life has led me to expect (though not unrealistic, for all that). You care what happens to them, and I'm anxious to see what comes next.

    To be honest, it's hard not to feel some disappointment, simply because I was hoping for the next volume in the "1632" world. That's not fair to this work, of course. And now I can eagerly anticipate yet another sequel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solid alt-hist on a period not often looked at
    In _The Rivers of War_, Eric Flint takes a break from his hugely successful "1632verse" to write what I might call a straight alternate history - one, that is, which doesn't depend on what alt-hist fans like to call "Alien Space Bats" (such as his own _1632_ or Harry Turtledove's seminal _The Guns of the South_).Instead, Flint decides to see what might have happened if the Cherokees had struck out on their own to found their own nation west of the Mississippi instead of waiting around to be driven out by the U.S. government in the infamous "Trail of Tears".To do this, he starts out by making a _very_ small change in the life of a famous American; Sam Houston.Houston, who had been adopted into the Cherokee tribe as a young boy, was serving in the U.S. Army as an ensign (a rank that doesn't exist any longer in the Army; it's basically the lowest officer grade, lower than lieutenant) in the War of 1812, assigned to the forces under General Andrew Jackson, who was at that time putting down the rebellious Creek tribe.In our "real-world" history, Houston was severely wounded at the Battle of the Horseshoe in 1814 in what is now eastern Alabama.Flint changes that incident so that Houston is only slightly wounded instead, and all else follows from that one small change - the "butterfly effect" in action.This book, the first in a series, concerns itself strictly with the events of 1814, first the Creek War, then the last campaign in Canada, then the British raid on Washington, and finally the Battle of New Orleans, so, in a sense, Flint is setting up everything for the main event.Personally, I can't wait!

    5-0 out of 5 stars You hit a home run with this one!
    Oh My God, Eric! - This may be your best work to date. I've giggled, laughed, cried out loud, been proud to be an American, and proud to be a country boy.... and I'm only on page 46 !

    To the reader: Do you like History? Do you like military fiction? Do you like fiction that makes you FEEL? Do you like fiction that brings historical figures into your presence and makes them feel alive? If you like any of the above - Buy this book! ... Read more


    13. Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror
    by Michael Scheuer
    list price: $27.50
    our price: $18.15
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1574888498
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-15)
    Publisher: Brassey's Inc
    Sales Rank: 138
    Average Customer Review: 3.93 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    The war on terror has created near unanimity on many points, at least within the American press and political leadership. One essential point of agreement: al Qaeda specifically and radical Islamism in general are stirred by a hatred of modernity. Or as President George W. Bush has articulated repeatedly, they hate freedom. Nonsense, responds the nameless author of this work and 2003's Through Our Enemies' Eyes (the senior U.S. intelligence official's identity became an open secret by publication date). Indeed, he grimly and methodically discards common wisdom throughout this scathing and compelling take on counterterrorism. Imperial Hubris is not a book that will cheer Americans, regardless of their perspectives on the post-9/11 environment. We are, the author notes, losing the war on terror. Hawks will squirm as the author heaps contempt on U.S. missions in Afghanistan (too little, too late) and Iraq ("a sham causing more instability than it prevents"), but opponents of Bush administration policies may blanch at Anonymous' suggestion that what's needed is for the West to"proceed with relentless, brutal, and, yes, blood-soaked offensive military actions until we have annihilated the Islamists who threaten us." Quoting the at-all-cost likes of William Tecumseh Sherman and Curtis Lemay on one hand and contending that unrelenting military measures be accompanied by concessions to the ideology of the militants on the other are unlikely to curry widespread support from either side of the divide. And how will readers conditioned to references to Osama bin Laden as a deranged gangster or simple-minded fanatic with deep pockets digest the respect accorded "the most popular anti-American leader in the world today"? Imperial Hubris clearly wasn't written to win friends, though the author believes it's essential that his words influence people at the top. Whether it will is debatable, but that this blunt, forceful, urgently argued polemic recharges the discussion is a foregone conclusion. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    4-0 out of 5 stars CIA Strikes Back
    It is important to realize that this book is not a lashing out at the current administration but a clarification of a state of affairs in the United States and abroad. The scapegoating of the CIA by the administration for faulty information on WMD possession to justify its invasion of Iraq has perhaps resulted in the need for the CIA to respond in the only manner it can, anonymously. Read this book not as a defamation of a president or an administration but as a genuine critique of imperial overstretch and its consequences for America's war on terror.

    5-0 out of 5 stars C'mon...
    I have read this book. I think the people giving it one star are ideologues who couldn't open their minds to ANYTHING outside of bombing muslims to make them submit to our will.

    The author sounds like the few CIA workers who have TRIED to wake up the agency AND our government to the realities of Islamic terror. I, for one, do not think this book's detractors are average joes. They sound like ideologues who do nothing but discredit ideas and opinions to suit their agendas. Do you critics understand the CIA's role? They give intelligence advice to the President and Congress so foreign policy decisions can be made. Sorry, but you can't ALWAYS shoot the messenger. The person interpreting the data needs to have a good head.

    Sure the CIA dropped the ball on 9/11 and with regards to the invasion of Iraq (even though I think Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney helped speed the misinformation up to get what they wanted) but from what has come out in these 9/11 hearings, the President and his cabinet refused to listen when information contrary to their agenda was given to them. I do remember the CIA saying back in November of 2002 that they DID NOT think Iraq was an IMMINENT threat. I do remember this and then ALL OF A SUDDEN politics took hold and they changed their tune (hmmm...sounds like POLITICAL PRESSURE!)

    Reading this book, I realized that the author is completely on target with his observations. If he is truly the man who was in charge of chasing Bin Laden, I would assume he is steeped in vast knowledge of the Middle East, it's cultures and personalities. His viewpoint makes sense. We need to change our approach if we wish to purge extremists from the Middle East. No, I do not think Muslims are "humiliated" by our successes, they are humiliated because America treats everyone of them like terrorists and supports Israel wholeheartedly.

    I am not saying we should ditch Israel, but like any friend, we need to have more stern dialogue with them and change some things.

    I dunno...the Middle East is a mess, but since I have strong knowledge of the region, I can say that we helped in this mess and we MUST clean it up. The author has a point of view that may help break it down for my other countrymen to understand the situation better.

    4-0 out of 5 stars No Secrets Revealed
    Sorry, no secrets were found but Anonymous has good insights when "analysis" runs into the "message".

    Given the recent stable of anti-Bush books, you would think this book is part of the race for first-place in that crowded field. I would disagree. "Hubris" belongs with Steve Coll's "Ghost Wars" or Robert Baer's "Sleeping With the Devil..." and "See Know Evil..." If you must be political... read "America Alone" by Halper and Clarke. "Hubris" will compliment the reading of any of these books and if you have not read them... I suspect you will.

    Any way you read "Imperial Hubris", it is likely you will not be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the book!!!!!!!!
    I knew long before all this. I came from Europe (not France). You never asked yourself why Europe a traditional partner of USA was opposing the war in IRAK? Everything written in this book is no secret anywhere else but America, because on national television stations were aired plenty of documentaries showing the reality. I welcome this book. The American people needed to know the truth about the so called "War on terror". Only by knowing you can address the issue correctly. Enjoy the book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely Not 5 Stars - Much Hype and Book Saturation?
    People tend to rate this book one star or five. Clearly it is not 1 star. Anyone assigning one or two stars to this book is an idiot. But similarly anyone thinking this is dramatic and new material has their head in the sand. There have already been a zillion books and opinions.

    We have been on an overdose of these books. I recently many books including House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger (excellent book) - the biggest tell all blockbuster (my opinion), The Choice by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Disarming Iraq, by Hans Blix, Noam Chomsky's Hegemony of Survival, Thirty Days (about Tony Blair) by Peter Stothard, and Price of Loyalty, Paul O'Neill (excellent book), Why America Slept by Gerald Posner, Against All Eneamies by Richard Clarke, and more. I put together a "listmania" list of the 25 best books - the best books - mainly non political, no strong bias conservative or liberal - a spectrum of opinion when you take them all together

    So is there really much new in this book that we did not already read, know, or could surmise or figure out on our own? The short answer is no. I think we are reaching the point of book saturaion on Iraq and Bin Laden, plus there is an unhealthy mixture of patriotic propaganda all mixed into the debate.

    This book sadly has had more pre-printing hype than new information and I do not think it is "a buy", so I cannot recommend. There are many better books especially by Craig Unger, Richard A. Clarke, Brzezinski and others. This is just one more coming late to the table. Also the author's theme here is really not much different from what Chomsky has been saying for decades.

    3 or 4 stars and do not run out and buy.

    Jack in Toronto ... Read more


    14. Jane's Chem-Bio Handbook (Jane's Chem-Bio Handbook)
    by Fraderick R., MD Sidell, William C., III Patrick, Thomas R. Dashiell, Ken, Md. Alibek, Scott, Md. Layne
    list price: $32.50
    our price: $27.62
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0710625685
    Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
    Publisher: Jane's Information Group
    Sales Rank: 101405
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Newly updated, the Jane's Chem-Bio Handbook: Second Edition is an essential guide for US first responders that consolidates critical planning information and response procedures for a chem-bio incident. Fundamental on-scene procedural information includes initial response procedures, chemical agent indicator matrix, on-scene handling of biological agents, decontamination procedures, site set-up procedures with detailed graphics, and much more.

    Key contents include:

    Pre-incident planning

    On-scene procedures

    Comprehensive management checklists for rapid response

    Latest triage and casualty management

    Chemical-biological agent descriptions and effects

    Chemical-biological agent delivery systems and methods

    Management of biological casualties

    Post-incident recovery including critical incident stress debriefing

    Meteorological conditions

    Chem-bio case studies

    Jane's Chem-Bio Handbook: Second Edition is also available in Latin-American Spanish, Russian and French. Please ask your local Jane's representative for details.

    Intended for:First responders: Military, Police, Fire and EMS officials. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL!
    This is a wonderful book for any first responder to have.
    It is very easy to use because not only does it come with on and off scene procedures, but it also has quick reference tables and charts. On a scale of 1 to 5 I give it a 10!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Tries to be all things...
    and falls short. Jane's Chem-Bio Handbook is much improved over the freebie notepad version they gave out a few years back, but it suffers from a lack of focus. The small size, spiral binding, and tabs suggest it is intended as a first responder or incident commander handbook, but occasional topical discourses suggest that it is meant as a textbook. As a result, it is hard to find the information that would be needed on the scene (an index helps, but only slightly), while the coverage of the various topics is too uneven for it to be a good text. In some places, it seems to be simply a compilation of information from various (US) field manuals.

    There are some good ideas, but they seem to be sabotaged by the execution. The checklist version of the "Agent Indicator Matrix" (based on the Defense Protective Service model) is a good idea, but it is spread over three pages (instead of being arranged to fit on two facing pages in a landscape presentation or provided as a foldout) so that it can neither be copied easily or used easily in the book. A section on the threat of stolen military munitions, after noting that stockpiles in other countries are not as well secured as those in the US, then proceeds to a description of US weapons without describing distinguishing characteristics of chemical munitions relative to conventional munitions or how the munitions described might relate to foreign munitions.

    There are also some surprising errors in the hodgepodge of facts. The volume I purchased indicates that it is from the sixth printing, so I have to presume that most typos have been corrected. One particularly egregious error is in the characterization of liquid phosgene as "...not hazardous except as a source of vapor." This statement is highlighted in a little box with a finger pointing at it on page 106, and repeated on page 108. While certainly it is the vapor that kills, liquid phosgene splashed into the eyes is known to produce opacification. Subsequently, it is stated that "Phosgene [vapor] does not damage the eyes or skin..." Yet it is well known that concentrated phosgene vapor will irritate both the skin and eyes, and, while this would not be fatal, and is usually not permanent the downplaying of these risks is certainly inappropriate, to put it mildly.

    To try to close on a positive note, this book does have some good information salted in various odd spots. If you are responsible for a training program, it would be a good book for you to look at, provided it is not the only reference you use. The table of emergency decontamination materials found at a K-Mart, for instance, suggests an obvious bit of homework for your trainees.

    In summary, this handbook should not be your first or only purchase, but it probably has a place in a comprehensive library. Given the reputation of Jane's, a bit more proofreading would have been in order.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Jane's Chem-Bio Handbook: A useful tool
    Among those involved with the planning and implementation of specialized, multi-casualty incident response, this book is quite useful. Field personnel, command staff, and planners - all will find it helpful. I found it to be concise, packable, and physically handy. About the only thing I'd change would be to laminate the pages for weather resistance.

    R.D. Lopez, Emergency Medical Services and Disaster Specialist, Dept. of Public Health

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well written, portable, multi-purpose
    This book offers a concise overview of (1) on scene procedures such as triage and decontamination, (2) general characteristics of weapon classes, (3) details of specific agents, and (4) treatments. It also describes precursor chemicals and 4 case histories. It is better written and more detailed than the comparable book "First responder chem-bio handbook". ... Read more


    15. The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare (Cambridge Illustrated Histories)
    list price: $36.71
    our price: $36.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521794315
    Catlog: Book (2000-09-11)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 3971
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare provides a unique account of Western warfare from antiquity to the present. The book treats all aspects of the subject from the Greeks to the nuclear age: the development of warfare on land, sea and air; weapons and technology; strategy and defense; discipline and intelligence.Throughout, there is an emphasis on the socio-economic aspects of war: who pays for it, how can its returns be measured, and to what extent does it explain the rise of the West to global dominance over two millennia?Geoffrey Parker is one of the world's leading authorities on military history and is the editor of The Times Atlas of World History (1993) and the author of The Military Revolution (Cambridge,1988). ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Summary On The Evolution of Western Warfare
    As with its political and economic systems, Western Europe came to develop very unique military institutions that had evolved from Greco-Roman military doctrines applying war as a science and as a precise instrument towards defined political ends: emphasizing on uniform training and equipment as well as strict discipline.This book studies the evolution of Western military institutions from antiquity to modern times and demonstrates how these progressive changes contributed to the modern doctrines of Western warfare that are used today by every nation-state.

    Geoffrey Parker did an excellent job in this work.Although many illustrative books are just that, this book has very detailed explanations in addition to very useful illustrations such as photos, maps, and diagrams.The book covers all of the important aspects of Western military evolution.For example, it will start by explaining how the early Greek phallanx comprised of citizen farmers was a significant factor to developing the citizen armies of the Roman legions to the later nation-state armies of 18th century Europe.The book looks at the impact of important military/political thinkers such as Thucydides, Caesar, Machiavelli, and Clausewitz, in the evolution of military doctrine.The book of course makes sure to cover how advances in science and engineering such as siege engines, firearms, and explosives changed the conduct of warfare and how armies adapted to such changes.

    This is nothing short of an excellent book that has the right balance between text and illustrations.Unlike other illustrative texts that are mostly pictures with little substance, this book is extremely thorough and detailed as to the main factors responsible towards the unique evolution of western military institutions and their impact on the world.I strongly recommend it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Overview of Warfare
    This book provides a good first glance at the various stages of warfare that have come and gone throughout human history, from Greek Hoplites to guerilla warfare. The illustrations in this book are very beautiful and informative, and a number of insets provide interesting factoids.

    This book is ideally suited for those wanting a good overview of the history of warfare. Be forewarned, though, that this book should not be used as a reference except for general facts in the history of warfare. Battle formations, major skirmishes and important people make up the majority of the content. Smaller details are not included, for the most part.

    Overall, this is a great book to own. I bought it for a college course a few years back and kept it afterwards. This is a good starting-off point for any interested in military history.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good Jumping Off Point
    As a student I found this book to be helpful and articulate. It has a lot of ground to cover--Ancient Greece to the present day--and does a remarkable job of conveying what happened and why. Though it is occasionally dry, I found myself engaged throughout. My only complaint is that it maybe could have benefited from being a bit longer. Brevity is certainly a virtue, but when your topic is as large as this one, I think a longer book is justified. It's definately nice to have around as a reference book too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
    The book accomplishes its goal amazingly well with clear graphics, lucid text, and wonderful accuracy. Easily the best in its field, the book gives you a profound understanding and knowledge of the european wars. Thechapters are well written and up-to-date. The bibliographies are clearlystated to give the reader further information on a given topic. This ishistory of war at its finest.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introductory overview of military history
    Geoffrey Parker has assembled some of the best working military historians for this volume, so that each chapter is up-to-date, well written, and reliable.Unlike many illustrated histories, this one gives at least some endnote references, and includes excellent short bibliographies for each chapter.The illustrations are also outstanding.About as good a history of warfare as could be produced within its word limits. --Professor Clifford J. Rogers ... Read more


    16. Inside the Wire : A Military Intelligence Soldier's Eyewitness Account of Life at Guantanamo
    by ErikSaar, VivecaNovak
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1594200661
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-02)
    Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The
    Sales Rank: 2799
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Inside the Wire is a gripping portrait of one soldier's six months at the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - a powerful, searing journey into a surreal world completely unique in the American experience.

    In an explosive newsbreak that generated headlines all around the world, a document submitted by army Sergeant Erik Saar to the Pentagon for clearance was leaked to the Associated Press in January, 2005.His account of appalling sexual interrogation tactics used on detainees at Guantanamo Bay was shocking, but that was only one small part of the story of what he saw at Guantanamo --and the leak was only one more strange twist in his profoundly disturbing and life-changing trip behind the scenes of America's war on terror.

    Saar couldn't have been more eager to get to Gitmo.After two years in the army learning Arabic, becoming a military intelligence linguist, he pounced on the chance to apply his new skills to extracting crucial intel from the terrorists. But when he walked through the heavily guarded, double-locked and double-gated fence line surrounding Camp Delta -- the special facility built for the "worst of the worst" al Qaeda and Taliban suspects - he entered a bizarre world that defied everything he'd expected, belied a great deal of what the Pentagon has claimed, and defiled the most cherished values of American life.

    In this powerful account, he takes us inside the cell blocks and interrogation rooms, face-to-face with the captives.Suicide attempts abound.Storm-trooper-like IRF (initial reaction forces) teams ramp up for beatings of the captives, and even injure one American soldier so badly in a mock drill -- a training exercise -that he ends up with brain seizures.Fake interrogations are staged when General Geoffrey Miller - whose later role in the Abu Ghraib fiasco would raise so many questions - hosts visiting VIPs.Barely trained interrogators begin applying their "creativity" when new, less restrictive rules are issued by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

    When Saar takes over as a cosupervisor of the linguists translating for interrogations and gains access to the detainees' intelligence files, he must contend with the extent of the deceptions and the harsh reality of just how illconceived and counterproductive an operation in the war on terror, and in the history of American military engagement, the Guantanamo detention center is.

    Inside the Wire is one of those rare and unforgettable eyewitness accounts of a momentous and deeply sobering chapter in American history, and a powerful cautionary tale about the risks of defaming the very values we are fighting for as we wage the war on terror.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (37)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Overall, it wasn't bad
    I am currently assigned the Naval Station in GTMO.I read this book, and found it very easy to read and follow.It had an interesting plot and told a good story.

    Before anyone who is reviewing this and is convinced that this book deserves a bad review decides to scan down to the next one, please hear me out.I have never worked inside the camp.I know several people who have, but I have never done more than drive down the road inside.I don't know what goes on in that camp, and like many other sailors and government employees here, I listen to CNN talk about what is happening less than a mile away from me on television everyday.I cannot draw a conclusion about the truth behind statements and stories contained in this novel because I simply don't know.I bought this book after reading mixed reviews because I wanted this former soldier's perspective on what happens back there...not caring whether it was true or not.I hear so much about what goes on in there I don't know what to believe anymore.

    But with all of that said, I believe the book was very well written.It was easy to read, and was very hard to put down. It doesn't go into as much political depth as I had expected, which was OK, because I don't like reading books like that.It is simply one man's views of what goes on there.

    I only gave this book four stars for one reason.The information that the author adds about the Naval base itself is very true for the most part.He describes buildings and placesin a way that anyone who has been here for a while and knows their way around the base would be able to pick them out in a heartbeat.However, he mentions some things in the book that completely off the wall, and crazily un-true about the base itself.These are included as so called "rumors" but are just silly in my opinion.This is the only reason I gave it four stars, but like I said, it was overall a good novel.

    Before I close though, I would like to add that I believe you have to have an open-minded opinion of the goings-on at GTMO before you dive into this one.The personnel that openly bashed this book after it's release were careless, and downright rude.Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but next time it should be displayed with a bit more couth.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Its nice to know so many GITMO personnel buy books!
    After reading the reviews, I was very suprised at the number of former/current GITMO personel that buy and review books on amazon.com This is truly an untapped market! Evidently this is the ONLY book being read at GITMO, since they have never reviewed anything else on amazon.com Ok, Im finished with the sarcasm.
    The book was an easy read. The details were disturbing. Is it fact/fiction? Its up the reader to decide. Unfortunately we dont have any nice digtal photos floating around on the internet to verfiy the author's account.
    Many are quick to dismiss his version of events. But then again, if someone had written a book about soldiers in Iraq leading detainees around on leases, making them masterbate, stacking them naked in a pyramid...I would be inclined to think it was fiction too. Now if only we could find some photos from GITMO.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Real Profile in Courage
    Erik Saar's book has all the credibility of the Onion or at this point Newsweek. It strikes me that anyone with a dissenting view of the book is labeled right wing etc or that they will not post their real names. After seeing some of the responses on here and on Blogs I can not blame anyone for not posting their real name as I can see hate mail direct towards them. As Americans we seem to have a disturbing trend to want to believe in all conspiracies no matter how far fetched. The Iraq prison scandal has shown that clearly as is Erik Saars book. My hunch is that some of the positive reviews on here also believe that the government has Aliens in Area 51 and that the CIA killed Kennedy.
    There is a true patriot from both GTMO and Abu G, Specialist Joseph Darby who was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. The annual honors recognize acts of political courage. Darby was the first to report abuse at the prison. He turned over pictures that included images of prisoners chained together in sexual poses. Spc Darby did not write a book and is not making money over what he saw and felt was wrong. He took a stand and did what is morally right which is more than I can say for Erik Saar.
    While this book is well written it is far from the truth and it is amazing looking through interviews with Saar that his story changes and he seems to stick to doing interviews on the far left fringe of things.
    I am neither left nor right, I make educated choices and decisions based on the facts and Saar book lacks facts and has a lot of conjecture. As the Newsweek story has shown not everything in print is the truth and a stronger more in depth review of Saars book will show the same. I would love to see Saar's NOCER's for the time as well as the interrogation plans that show Saar was in the booth. I have a feeling most of what he said he saw is stuff he heard happened etc. It also strikes me as odd that Saar as an Arabic linguist never advanced beyond E5 despite the points being low and the need for Arabic linguists being great. I also noticed he has two good conduct awards. This means he did at least 6 years active duty. The average soldier makes E5 in 3-4 years and E6 in Saars MOS he should have had it in 5 with ease. I have a feeling there is more to look at with this young man than meets the eye.
    SPC Joseph Darby is a true American hero, not Saar, America should be offended at those who commit abuses and question the government and challenge it for better government and leaders, but we should also be offended at those that chose to try and profit from situations such as this and make matters worse and instead in flame things needlessly.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a thoughtful read
    this book was written by someone who had actually been at
    guantanamo and for that reason, if none other, deserves
    better attention than some previous reviewers want to give it.the author gives us chapter and verse but of course, it is up
    to the reader to accept or challenge, but the challenges
    should come from readers who come to the book without
    built-in prejudices.

    saar was a participant in events and i thoroughly appreciate
    his view of that history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An important and accessible work
    This book gives us an alternate view into the workings of the Guantanamo detention facility.Before this book almost all of the information we have received has been second hand, either from officials in Washington or commentators.None of these people have actually been there, day in and day out, as part of the operation.

    Other reviewers have cast aspersions on the veracity of this book.My objective opinion is that Sgt. Saar's story rings true.For instance, we are told of a farmer who had no idea why he was there, and had not been charged with any crimes.If we were paying a bounty to Northern warlords for capturing terrorists, but not validating their claim that the people presented are terrorists, it seems reasonable that the warlord would pick up local farmers and tradesmen as easy money. It seems that they would certainly be easier to find and capture than real terrorists.In any case, the problems illustrated by this book would be easy for the government to check out.

    Some of the reviewers have impugned Sgt. Saars motivations and patriotism.While it is difficult to speak of another's motivations, writing this book is the definition of patriotic right and duty.The fact that we are able to criticize our government is at the heart of what being an American is all about.The free press is the ultimate check on the behavior of our government - the fourth branch.

    I believe that the most important point in the book is not the fact that we have violated international treaties and our own principals at Guantanamo, but that it hasn't worked.I remember the mood after 9/11.The world had shifted and only an extraordinary response would keep us safe.But this doesn't give us leave to forget about leadership, training, organized execution and oversight.We seem to have been making mistakes, but ignoring the outcome - the lack of good intelligence and the problems in moral and performance.Sgt. Saar is doing us a service by providing valuable feedback.The question is, will the leadership receive it from this source, as they didn't get it from proper oversight.

    You might have noticed that I was using the pronoun "we" when I spoke of activities described in the book.This was unintentional, and when I focused on it, I felt it might have been presumptuous.I certainly wasn't there.I was living in safety and comfort in the presence of my loved ones while Sgt. Saar and the others were doing their countries work in Guantanamo.On reflection, I decided to leave the pronouns where they lay.The military is the shield that protects us, but our surrogates.The soldier shows the world how we respond to difficult situations.

    Sgt. Saar's response has been both courageous and appropriate. This is an important book.

    ... Read more


    17. Military Innovation in the Interwar Period
    list price: $26.99
    our price: $26.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0521637600
    Catlog: Book (1998-08-13)
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Sales Rank: 184952
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great historic analysis on military innovations
    It is a very good review on how things developed between world wars. It provides a good insight of the thinking of the different countries and how they coped with their doctrines and how much they took an advantage of the WWI experiences.
    I am rating 4 stars because actually I would like much more information rather than 30 pages on each subject.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Readable and Good
    This is an anthology of various articles. Generally anthologies are the pits as they tend to lack a central them and the quality will vary. These articles are generally by the authors and as such they are of an even standard.

    There are a number of chapters that discuss a range of issues from the use of Tanks to the development of the Aircraft Carrier.

    The book is interesting although the area covered is naturally enormous and the amount of space that can be devoted to complex subjects is naturally limited. Despite this most of the essays are interesting and not only for what they say. In the first essay about the development of armored warfare by way of an aside the writer attacks Gueridian as a sycophant and also as a person whose reputation was largely the result of self publicity. Later the English theorists Fuller and Liddell Hart are critiqued as presenting overly schematic histories of the First World War which warped the truth to fit in with their own theories. Interestingly the essay then goes on to suggest that the first world war infantry battles were so complex that even now we struggle to understand them and for that reason it was no surprise that Douglas Haig had the problems that he did.

    All in all an interesting book although again very much a starting point for the issue it covers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Serious Systematic Look at Military Innovation
    This may be the one book Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld should read. It is a serious systematic look at military innovation between the first and second world wars and its ten chapters run the gamut from aircraft carriers to submarines to mechanized combined armed warfare (the Blitzkrieg) to the development of radar, the emergence of amphibious landing capability, and the evolution of strategic bombing campaigns. There is a wide divergence of patterns both between topics and between countries. The British led in aircraft carrier development but made a series of organizational and technological choices that left them far behind the Japanese and the Americans. The British also led in the development of the tank but then rejected it as a mobile warfare system and were rapidly supplanted by the Germans who used the 1920s British tests as a basis for their development of Blitzkrieg. The submarine was rejected politically by everyone but was then developed effectively by the Americans and the Germans. The American torpedo failures are a maddening study in bureaucratic rejection of reality and a sober warning to the current peacetime Pentagon.

    This book captures the complexity and the lessons of peacetime military innovation as well as any that has been written. It should be required reading for everyone who wants to work on the current problems of transforming the Pentagon.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Food for Thought
    Williamson Murray (Editor), Alan R. Millet (Editor), combine again to publish a "must have" reference work for any serious military professional. The articles are universally excellent, well researched, and full of analysis. As military policy makers and strategists confront the ambiguities of the 21st Century, this work provides superb lessons learned from history. Buy the book and read it - it will be time and money well spent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars HQDA Recommended Reading!
    This book is on the HQDA Recommended Reading list! Enjoy! ... Read more


    18. Biggest Brother : The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers
    by LarryAlexander
    list price: $24.95
    our price: $16.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0451215109
    Catlog: Book (2005-04-26)
    Publisher: NAL Hardcover
    Sales Rank: 468
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In every band of brothers, there is always one who looks out for the rest.

    A soldier. A leader. A living testament to the valor of the human spirit. Major Richard D. Winters finally shares his amazing story.

    They were the Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Army Airborne, the legendary fighting unit of World War II. And there was one man every soldier in Easy Company looked up to-Major Richard D. Winters.

    Here, for the first time, is the compelling story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero-from Winters's childhood in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, through the war years in which his natural skill as a leader elevated him through the ranks in combat, to now, decades later, when he may finally be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day.

    Full of never-before-seen photographs and the insight that family, friends, fellow veterans of Easy Company-and only Winters himself-could provide, Biggest Brother is the inspiring life story of a man who became a living testament to the valor of the human spirit-and America.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book
    I've never written a review for Amazon before but had to for this great book.If you're interested in World War II, Band of Brothers, etc you would find this book very enjoyable.Although the subject matter is obviously similar to Stephen Ambrose's book, Larry Alexander takes a much more in depth and personal look into the life of Dick Winters (they are from the same city in Pennsylvania).He had access to many of the letters that Winters wrote at the time and that gives you a lot of insight into his thoughts and emotions during the 506th's deployment in Europe.It is fascinating reading!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Biggest Brother, the biography of Major Dick Winters
    This has to be the best book I've read. Everyone should read this even if they haven't seen the miniseries or read Stephen Ambrose's book. This book was certainly one of those that you'd find hard to put down. Even though this is Larry Alexander's first book to the best of my knowledge, he has undertaken a fine job.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fills In the Blanks
    This is the right book for those of us who want to know more about the most famous infantry officer of World War II. While covering a lot of the same territory that was told in "Band of Brothers," "The Biggest Brother" goes further and illuminates what Dick Winters was thinking and experiencing as a teetotalling, Bible reading, conscientious company and battalion commander during some of the worst combat in the European Theater. The author has obtained a treasure trove of a resource in that he got hold of a pile of letters that Winters wrote to a girlfriend/pen pal during his Army career. His thoughts and reactions to events of more than sixty years ago were recorded for this woman and it provides the backbone for this well-written work, along with interviews and solid research.

    While Easy Company's story is told in more detail, I was particularly interested in what happened to Dick Winters after the war. Too often we're left hanging as to how the catalysts of these stories coped with what they went through. "The Biggest Brother" shows that, like many, many veterans, Winters struggled at first, wound tight as a drum and having a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. His stint with his friend Nixon's company didn't help matters. Nixon and his father, both raging alcoholics, more or less left Winters on his own at their company headquarters. Basically he had to learn about the business world through intense study, trial and error and strength of will, much like his rise through the ranks in the Army. His eventual success as an animal feed salesman was accomplished through years and years of hard work. We later generations sometimes forget (or never knew) that the "Greatest Generation" built modern America with their own blood, sweat, tears and a very tough work ethic.

    In addition, assuming what Alexander has written is true, many of the episodes of the HBO mini-series had major inaccuries in them. Hopefully this book will set the record straight once and for all. For example, Private Blithe, the trooper who suffered from "hysterical blindess" was indeed wounded in the neck but survived, stayed in the Army and served in Korea in the 1950s. The movie stated that he died several years after his Normandy wound, lying paralyzed in an Army hospital.

    Another inaccuracy is the HBO portrayal of "Wild Bill" Guarnere going berserk and shooting up a German horse-drawn column. Evidently it was another group of paratroopers who did this as Guarnere, like Winters, had lost his weapon during the jump. There are numerous examples like this, of Hollywood forsaking accuracy, as told by the men who were actually there, in favor of dramatism and blowing things out of proportion in order to make a more profitable production. I was particularly interested in the segments where Winters attempted to impress Tom Hanks and the HBO writers with the need to be accurate and not exaggerate. The overuse of the "F word" was particularly disturbing to Winters and a lot of the other Easy Company men. Usually his advice was ignored as those of us who have seen the movie know.

    At 87 Dick Winters still comes across as a tough, no nonsense kind of guy. He doesn't suffer fools and likes to tell it like he sees it. I ended the book convinced he had to be one of the top, if not the absolute best, infantry officers in World War II. His concern for his men, obsession with perfecting his skill and knowledge and lack of interest in whooping it up on furlough made him an almost flawless leader. What a guy!

    I would have given the book five stars (I'd like to have made it 4.5) except for a few minor complaints about grammar, missing words and, albeit it petty on my part, technical inaccuracies. The author repeatedly uses the word "insure" when he means "ensure." There's one case where the text reads "Winters and opened fire." In addition, German tank nomenclature is a bit confused. The Mark V (popularly known as the Panther) had a 75mm gun, not an 88mm. I think he means the Jagdpanzer V (dubbed the Jagdpanther) when he refers to the Jagdpanzer IV. If not he should note that the JgdPz V had an 88, the JgdPz IV a 75. He also repeatedly refers to German artillery fire as coming in from 88s. Maybe he got that from the vets who seemed to call all enemy guns "88s." In fact, German artillery covered the gamut, from 75mm to 88mm, 105mm, 150mm and 170mm.

    As I said, these are minor complaints. Overall this is an excellent work telling the story of a man many are very interested in. While there must be thousands of WWII vets still out there with stories to tell, I don't think many would be as fascinating as the life of Dick Winters. "The Biggest Brother" satisfies the curiosity a lot of us had after reading Ambrose's original work and watching HBO's mini-series. ... Read more


    19. Red Mafiya : How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America
    by Robert I. Friedman
    list price: $25.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316294748
    Catlog: Book (2000-05-01)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 59252
    Average Customer Review: 3.28 out of 5 stars
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    Amid his efforts to expose the Russian mob, Robert I. Friedman learned from the FBI that "the most brilliant and savage Russian mob organization in the world" had put a $100,000 price on his head. Reading Red Mafiya, it's not hard to see why: this is a brave book about a troubling subject. Friedman, a freelance journalist, describes the research behind it: "I ventured into the Russians' gaudy strip clubs in Miami Beach; paid surprise visits to their well-kept suburban homes in Denver; interviewed hit men and godfathers in an array of federal lockups; and traveled halfway around the world trying to make sense of their tangled criminal webs, which have ensnared everyone from titans of finance and the heads of government to entire state security services." Their racket involves heroin smuggling, weapons trafficking, mass extortion, and casino operation, among other activities. "Blending financial sophistication with bone-crunching violence, the Russian mob has become the FBI's most formidable criminal adversary, creating an international criminal colossus that has surpassed the Colombian cartels, the Japanese Yakuzas, the Chinese triads, and the Italian Mafia in wealth and weaponry," writes Friedman. They've even penetrated professional hockey, as Friedman shows in an eye-opening chapter ("Federal authorities have come to fear that the NHL is now so compromised by Russian gangsters that the integrity of the game itself may be in jeopardy").

    Red Mafiya benefits from a breezy narrative in detailing a master criminal operation whose influence on the United States is growing rapidly. Russian mobsters already have siphoned off millions of dollars in foreign aid meant to prop up their country's economy--and they may have a more direct impact on American national security concerns in the years ahead: "The Russian mob virtually controls their nuclear-tipped former superpower," writes Friedman. Now, there's a scary thought. Lifting the Iron Curtain seems to have been a mixed blessing: it let freedom in, and organized crime out. --John J. Miller ... Read more

    Reviews (39)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brain to Pinky: "Take over the world!"
    RED MAFIYA by Robert Friedman is a report on some of the figures and actions of the Russian mob in the United States today. Although, there are some claims that this book is "anti-Semitic," the author is himself Jewish. Friedman was a brave author to write and publish this because of the nature of the criminals he is trying to expose.

    The Russian mob has been making tremendous headway in its criminal undertakings since it first took root in the 1970's. It is made up of many Soviet emigres who were brought over to the US because of some of their "refugee" status. Many are Jews brought over through the auspices of Jewish aid and refugee organizations. The two largest centers of Russian mob activity are Brighton Beach (in Brooklyn) and Miami. Many of its members are brilliant and highly educated, some holding PhDs in engineering, mathematics and economics. They have been involved in pretty much everything in which illegal money is to be made: the drug trade, prostitution, sex-clubs, gasoline bootlegging to avoid excise taxes, money laundering, arms deals, extortion, possibly rigging NHL games, jewelry theft and smuggling, the list goes on and on...

    One of the reasons for the Mafiya's success is that is has two entire countries to base themselves in: Russia and Israel. Russia is completely corrupt with a crumbling economy and infrastructure. Israel offers a safe haven because it does not extradite its citizens and any Jew fleeing peresecution can seek refuge there. Israel also has very lax banking laws, to encourage the income of capital, so billions of dollars have been illegally laundered there over the years. Most of the top players in the Russian mob are Jewish, including Elson, Agron, Nayfeld, Balagula, noted author Yuri Brokhin, politically connected orthodox Rabbi Ronald Greenwald, Ludwig "Tarzan" Fainburg and the most powerful, Semion Mogilevich. Some, like Ivankov, are not Jewish but hold Israeli citizenship. The fact that many of the mobsters are Jewish is mentioned by Friedman as a cause of law-enforcement's lack of motivation in tackling the issue because it would inflame extremly sensitive political interests. Prominient names appear in this book who have had cameos with mobsters--all the way up to Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Oh, for a return to the Bad Old Days of the Cold War
    RED MAFIYA by Robert Friedman is a disquieting book. In it, he chronicles the waves of arrival and expansion of the Russian mob in the US. The first wave came during the period of the Cold War, when the criminals arrived in the guise of Jewish dissident refugees, settling in Brighton Beach, New York. The second wave came after the dissolution of the USSR, when the new freedoms allowed by perestroika opened the floodgates to the Russian "wiseguys", some with previous connections to the KGB and military, now swarming into Miami, Denver and Los Angeles. Since then, the Red Mafiya has relentlessly extended its tentacles into, and sometimes completely around, such diverse activities and entities as the Russian government, Wall Street, the Russian and Swiss banking systems, the State of Israel, and the US National Hockey League. One of the Mafiya's most startling characteristics is the viciousness of its members. A viciousness forged into a steely hardness under Soviet totalitarianism, and which makes the dons of the Italian Mafia look like a bunch of kindly grandfathers. It causes one to look fondly back on the bad old days of the Cold War, when at least the Soviet security apparatus had its indigenous criminals under some measure of control, i.e. in some Arctic gulag where they could tear at each other's throats instead of ours.

    I have mixed feelings about this book. First of all, it's not one I would've bought on my own - it was a gift. I mean, living in Southern California I 'm well aware that there are loathsome elements "out there": mafias of whatever national origin, Latino gangs, Armenian gangs, Chinese gangs, Vietnamese gangs, South American drug cartels. Hell, maybe even brotherhoods of Eskimo assassins for all I know. The best I can do is stay out of their way, much as I avoid dog excrement on the sidewalk. There's not much I can personally do about them except support law enforcement agencies with my tax dollars, which, by the way, are legally extorted from me at 33% or more of my income. (I might well wonder which group is hurting me the most.) On the other hand, as the author points out, the damage that the Red Mafiya is doing to the Motherland may eventually cause a disgusted populace to elevate to leadership a Hitler-like figure - and he's going to have nukes to play with. This is a scary thought. On that basis, I have to applaud Friedman on the courage it took to write such a fine and informative piece of investigative journalism in the face of extreme personal danger. Honor is due.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Antisemitic and Russophobic Thrash by a self-hating Jew
    Robert I. Friedman (who recently died) was a terrorist loving, antisemitic and russophobic thrash peddler. His books are full of obscene innuendo and downright libel. He never backs up his sources and engages in Jew-bating (his previous books) and Russophobic rants (Red Mafiya). As a Jew from the Soviet Union and a proud Zionist, I consider Friedman to be as antisemitic and dangerous to the Jewish community as David Duke and Louis Farrakhan.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Poorly written, disorganized, and antisemitic
    No, it did not escape me that Friedman is jewish. This book is nonetheless little more than a poorly structured, and poorly referenced screed.

    Friedman makes a habit of giving information that is supposedly culled from confidential government reports and other official and important sounding sources without ever backing them up with a reference list, footnotes, or end notes that would lend them any real credibility. He could simply be making this stuff up and one would have no way to confirm or deny any of it.

    Further, nearly every time he mentions a new mobster or badguy of some sort, he trips all over himself in his haste to inform us that this person is jewish. If this book was all you had to go on, you would come away thinking that every Russian Jew that comes to the US is some sort of gangster.

    Finally, the writing is so poorly structured it's hard to tell why he bothered having chapters with different titles. He may as well have written the whole thing as a single gigantic paragraph.

    I recommend you read anything else.

    1-0 out of 5 stars This book is ULTIMATELY RACIST and RUSSOPHOBIC
    I have read passages from this book and can say only this--a pure Racism. I do not deny that there are Russian Mobsters in America. They are vicious thugs and they must be dealt with swiftly and justly. I certainly not deny that current Russian Regime is corrupt and authocratic and it is the cause of concern.

    However, in this book, Mr. Friedman does not separate mobsters from hundreds of thousands of ordinary decent Russian/Russian-Speaking Immigrants who made the America their home since early 70's and made a great contribution to the American society. For him, all Russian Emigres are either mobsters or somehow connected to mobsters. If you think this book is not Racist consider just a few passages:

    "In Russia, Tarzan [nickname for one of the mobsters] told me
    dishonesty is a trait that is bred from the womb. Deprivation teaches Russians to be cunning predators--it's only way to survive, he said." (Page 122)

    " "The Russians didn't come here to enjoy the American Dream," New York State Tax agent Roger Berger says glumly. "They came here to steal it." "(Intro, Page xx)

    "Like many young Russian emigres in East Berlin, Tarzan joined a mob crew" (Page 124)

    If this is not a Racism and Russophobia--than what ? If anyone takes all these passages seriously, the next logical step would be for him or her to demand that Russians in America should be confined to concentration camps, thrown out of the country or be discriminated against in any ways possible. Whatever Mr. Friedman tells about his Russian Jewish roots does not excuse him for filling the book with such vicious passages. Any book that teaches people to hate other people because of their national or ethnic origin is a CRIME AGAINST GOD. ... Read more


    20. Racing the Enemy : Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan,
    by Tsuyoshi Hasegawa
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $19.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0674016939
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-15)
    Publisher: Belknap Press
    Sales Rank: 3558
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    Book Description

    With startling revelations, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa rewrites the standard history of the end of World War II in the Pacific. By fully integrating the three key actors in the story--the United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan--Hasegawa for the first time puts the last months of the war into international perspective.

    From April 1945, when Stalin broke the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact and Harry Truman assumed the presidency, to the final Soviet military actions against Japan, Hasegawa brings to light the real reasons Japan surrendered. From Washington to Moscow to Tokyo and back again, he shows us a high-stakes diplomatic game as Truman and Stalin sought to outmaneuver each other in forcing Japan's surrender; as Stalin dangled mediation offers to Japan while secretly preparing to fight in the Pacific; as Tokyo peace advocates desperately tried to stave off a war party determined to mount a last-ditch defense; and as the Americans struggled to balance their competing interests of ending the war with Japan and preventing the Soviets from expanding into the Pacific.

    Authoritative and engrossing, Racing the Enemy puts the final days of World War II into a whole new light.

    ... Read more

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